Sir Vince Cable ignored warnings from a television presenter that he could not use the term ‘bollocks’ on a political television show.
The Lib Dem leader was told by BBC presenter Andrew Marr it was the first time he could not read out a manifesto title on Sunday morning television before being asked if he felt embarrassed by the “coarseness” of the “Bollocks to Brexit” message.
But Sir Vince ignored warnings as he repeated the message on The Andrew Marr Show.
He explained: “A few people objected to it.
“I looked up the etymology of ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ and the first thing I read was it was a word with a long and distinguished history going back to the 18th century.”
As Marr apologised, the presenter intervened to say: “It’s also a profanity that we don’t normally use in political discourse.”
Sir Vince replied: “I’m not in the least bit embarrassed. It made it absolutely clear that we’re about stopping Brexit.”
He also insisted a second referendum on Brexit could be held within months.
The former business secretary said the Lib Dems would support th government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill if a confirmatory referendum was attached to it, and suggested such a vote could be completed ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.
Sir Vince said: “I think it’s quite likely that we will get the referendum we’re fighting for so we can argue for stopping Brexit.
“We’ve talked to the government about the practicalities and it can be done before October.”
Asked if he still intends to step down as leader in May, Sir Vince replied: “I’ve made it very clear there’ll be a new leader in the summer. I’m moving on. I’m not changing my mind about that.”